Tuesday, June 11

The Sanctity of Human Life

This article appeared on my Yahoo newsfeed yesterday. It really sickens me that this is even something society has to deal with but that's where we are. 

I feel strongly that abortion is wrong. Many people--say, about half the planet--disagree with me. I truly cannot fathom how some people can justify the preservation of trout eggs and other animals such as these and ignore the need to preserve human life. Maybe they think there is some need for population control (which is not true at all--we humans do not even have a sufficient replacement rate for the population as it is, as partially described in this article about demographics) or maybe it is their need to feel like they have complete control over their lives that makes them feel this way. Maybe they have never felt their unborn child's heartbeat or felt their baby's first movements because I certainly cannot see how someone could experience either of these miracles and still claim that a fetus or embryo is not "living." Why is it that when one's heart ceases to beat, they are medically considered "dead" but when a heart begins beating as early as four or five weeks, a fetus is not considered "living." What is the point of having a heartbeat if it does not give us life?

The claim that an unborn baby is "not living" is one of the biggest fallacies and absolute untruths of our time. And somehow people tell themselves this lie and accept it. This is justification, people. Humans are constantly trying to justify their actions and behaviors, and if telling themselves that a fetus with a beating heart is not alive, then it is sad and embarrassing that they could be so easily convinced that there is no sanctity in human life. 

Another argument I find ridiculous is when humans suggest that these girls "aren't ready" or "mature enough" to be parents. To those who suggest this, I would agree with you. But if they believe they are mature enough to participate in sexual behaviors, then they better be willing to accept the consequences associated with that choice. I realize that the article I am responding to did not directly or fully address the subject of abortion, but I am doing so because my opinion on birth control comes down to this: If you believe that you are "old enough" or "mature enough" to be sexually active, then you must be what we grown-ups call "accountable" for your actions. If you break the law, you might be arrested. If you cheat on a test, you will likely fail. If you break a promise, you very often lose someone's trust. If you murder another human being, you go to prison. These are consequences. Say you somehow avoid getting arrested, or avoid failing the test because no one catches you. Does that make your decision any better or any more right? It is the same with sexual activity. If, due to careless behavior, you get pregnant, you have the choice to accept the consequences, take responsibility, and raise yourself or even give away the child that you have actively--if not willfully--created. You can also attempt to hide what you did and cover it up with an abortion because you aren't ready to have a child, or it was just a one-time thing. Just because others do not know about it, does not make it acceptable. 

It reminds of this scripture in 2 Nephi 28: 8-9 (if you don't believe in the scriptures, feel free to pass over this part):

"And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, nevertheless, fear God--he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark."

Many feminists and pro-choice activists argue that women should have "absolute control" over their own bodies. They do. Women have the ability to choose if they will be sexually active and the ability to choose how they prevent pregnancy. But why would a loving God (or anyone with a human heart) find terminating an unwanted pregnancy justifiable? Women have the power to create life. If they abuse it, just like anything else in life, they should be required to accept the consequences. I often see people protest to this with pointless questions such as, "If they don't want the baby, isn't it better that the baby is terminated than raised by unready or unwilling parents?" No sir, I don't believe in children being raised properly by loving parents. OF COURSE I DO. How idiotic a question is that? But taking that unborn baby's life is NOT a proportionate response! Adoption by loving parents is always a viable option but then those same people always insist, "There are already too many children being put up for adoption and too many who never get adopted." To this I respond with, yes, that is unfortunately true. Too many people have already made the choice to put their child up for adoption, whatever the reason. But how can you argue that those babies would have been better off dead, or rather "terminated," than allowed to live? Please tell me that the majority of those people on this list of orphans as well as the thousands of others that have lived on this earth believe they would have been better off having never existed than growing up an orphan. I highly doubt you would receive sizable positive acclamation or agreement. 

When a woman chooses to have an abortion, she is generally met with sympathy and understanding. What about the little life that will never be because of her decision? An embryo--and even a birthed baby--is not given the choice to live. It depends entirely on its parents, and in particular, its mother to keep it alive. Why would he or she not be given the same rights as any other human being? Does age matter? The life of a human suddenly matters when it is born at 40 weeks, but not beforehand? What about those born as prematurely as 23 weeks? They are not a fully developed baby until 40 weeks, so that baby should not matter as much, right? Because a fetus is not as much a human at 8 weeks than a still-developing baby at 20? "As much" as you try to justify it, the argument stands that those who support abortion do not seem to value human life as much or at least do not respect it enough to preserve it. 

Sexual intimacy is sacred. It is God-given. It is not only for creating life, but for expressing love and creating oneness. But I believe it is most powerful and most meaningful within marriage. The world disagrees? No kidding. Sexuality is a common joke in the eyes of most. It is purely physical and recreational. This quote by Billy Graham best portrays the brief version of what Mormons or Latter-day Saints believe in this regard: 

"The Bible celebrates sex and its proper use, presenting it as God-created, God-ordained, God-blessed. It makes plain that God himself implanted the physical magnetism between the sexes for two reasons: for the propagation of the human race, and for the expression of that kind of love between man and wife that makes for true oneness. His commandment to the first man and woman to be 'one flesh' was as important as his command to 'be fruitful and multiply.'" 

The long version, if you're truly curious, is explained well in this articleThose who mistakenly are under the impression that Mormons and other Christians believe that the only purpose for sexuality is to have children are completely wrong. That aspect of sexuality is very important, too, but in its own time. 

I am not naive enough to believe that most people will stop having sex before marriage just because it might result in an unwanted pregnancy. Humans are too selfish and too concerned that their own needs are satisfied for this to be the case. But if you consider yourself old enough to be sexually active, I would hope you would be willing to consider the consequences should your contraceptive methods fail. 

I will share that I chose to be on a birth control pill for the first year of our marriage. This decision was partially because I suffer from major cramps during my period and the pill helped relieve them, partially because my period was irregular and it helped regulate it, and partially because I wanted to have some time with my husband so we could adjust to one another before starting a family. That was a choice we prayerfully made as a couple. Had we still gotten pregnant before anticipated, we would have been elated and would have understood that obviously God's timing was different from our own. After one year and two months, we decided we wanted to stop using the pill and leave it up to Him because at that point, we were starting to get very baby hungry. Sure enough, after just one month, we discovered we were pregnant.

Human life is special. Our Heavenly Father loves every one of us and I imagine that it saddens him tremendously to see so many of His children aborting the growing embryos or fetuses they actively created. I have heard some cruelly and disdainfully suggest that an embryo is nothing more than "a sac of cells." To that I say it is then a growing sac of cells with a heartbeat and the potential to become a human baby. You can justify its supposed unimportance as much as you want, but I will never be convinced that the baby now nearly fully formed inside me was ever just "a sac of cells" to our Heavenly Father.

I write this post not to argue or to convince (as that rarely seems to be effective with any sort of argument) but to inform. You may disagree with every single thing I have written thus far, but I assure you that you cannot disagree with this basic fact: You were born. The efforts of a man and a woman together gave you life. No one got in the way of that. You sadly may wish you had never been born, but I do not believe that gives you or anyone else the right to choose who should be able to live and who should not.

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government."
~Thomas Jefferson

My precious growing daughter. She was just at 16 weeks here, but already incredibly active and very much alive. 


  1. I have always felt the same way you do - if you want to exercise control over your own body and not have a baby, don't have sex or take preventative measures! It's not a hard connection to make! I think the real problem here is that people want to live without consequences. There is no such thing as not having consequences, but I think Satan perpetuates this lie in hopes of destroying the family unit.

    I read a great blog post by a woman named Kandee who made a mistake and got pregnant out of wedlock, but she shares her experience and why she chose to keep the baby. She also mentions a friend who was raped who also kept her baby. Here's a link to the article:

    I also think that it is a good idea for newly married couples to wait a little while before having kids so that they can adjust to life together and be spiritually prepared to care for another of God's children.

    1. Hey Shelby! I loved your comment and I really appreciated it! I completely agree. I think the only two scenarios that are questionable in my mind are if the mother will die herself (if they can tell at a reasonably early stage, like in the case of a tube pregnancy where the baby would not be able to survive either), and in the case of a young girl that is raped and becomes pregnant. It would be terrible to be put in either situation, and I wouldn't judge the choice they made but that certainly would be a burden. Still, you are absolutely right. People are not willing to accept the consequences of their selfishness. They also do not see their own selfishness and I think that this self-blindness is all too prevalent and creates a lot of prideful hearts.

  2. Olivia,
    I always find it interesting when someone says they are "PRO CHOICE" they argue that "its her body and so it should be her choice what she does with it", Her "CHOICE" was to have sex! All of our actions have consequences whether good or bad and therefore if you have sex and get pregnant, you made your "CHOICE" and now you have to take care of the life you created. It's not just about her life anymore, she and he created a life and now they need to take responsibility for their "CHOICES". In the case of rape, she did not have a choice so that would be a very difficult decision and one that no one should have to make. ~

    I like to say: If you choose to have sex then you made your choice!

    1. I like that, Mom. If you have sex outside of marriage and end up pregnant, you already made your choice. Just like with anything else, you should take responsibility for your actions rather than attempt to cover them up. I just can't understand how anyone could think that that is okay.

  3. I encourage you to read this article thoroughly, truly taking in her opinion, and would love to hear your response/opinion on the article as a whole.


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  4. Hello, and thanks for the thoughtful comment. I read the article and was interested most in the points she made regarding the views of those who consider themselves "pro-life." I think that is mainly where there is some dissension in my mind because I think not everyone's view of "pro-life" is the same. Yes, the main goal seems to be to prevent the murders of the innocent, but I feel that the author took this definition to an extreme level--much further than it needs to go.
    For me, a big part of being anti-abortion derives from my belief that young boys and girls (or really anyone who isn't married) should not be in sexual relationships because it is morally wrong. I realize that probably sounds judgmental, but that is the simplest way I can say it. I saved myself for my husband and he did the same. I feel that God wants us to be morally pure. Not everyone in the LDS Church (and certainly not everyone in the world) has done the same as my husband or myself, but I think it is extremely special when men and women remain virtuous before marriage because that is such a rare and good quality. It has made our bond as spouses stronger because we never gave that part of us away. I share this, because obviously the majority of people who are pro-life are not members of my faith and I am sure we do not agree on all points, but this is why I cringe at the idea of abortion.

    1. In the article, the author brought up several times that those who are truly pro-life should support birth control because it prevents more abortions from occurring. I am not anti-birth control (I am pretty sure in my post I mentioned that I was on it before we decided to start our family), and from my comment before you already know that I think people shouldn't be having sex outside of marriage anyway, so it is hard for me to advocate free or easily accessible birth control when I know that the majority of those who are using it are underage, unmarried, or similarly unfit to be parents should their method fail.
      That said, I truthfully was not in agreement at all with the point she brought up regarding the zygote and how 50% of the eggs that reach that stage are aborted naturally through miscarriage. I do not dispute that that occurs, but I strongly feel that that is something altogether different entirely. Women get their periods because they "failed to get pregnant." Just because we have the ability to get pregnant does not mean we are trying to do so every month which is why I do not see an issue with birth control when it is used appropriately. Intimacy is for more than creating life. I think that if I had been meant to have a child before now, I would have gotten pregnant while on birth control anyway and it would not have been an unpleasant surprise because I am married and better situated to raise a child than a teenage girl. We may not have been financially prepared, but we aren't really financially prepared now either and it's okay because we live within our means, save as much as we can, and I know God will watch over us.
      Probably the biggest difference between myself and the author (and many other people) is that I believe God wants us to be morally pure. To me, that means keeping sacred acts within the bonds of marriage. The whole world practically disagrees with me. But it is relevant to my argument because it explains why I believe in the importance of being willing to take responsibility for my actions (and being responsible in the first place). People need to be prepared for the consequences of failed contraception, or not have sex. Simple as that. If you're mature enough to do that, then be mature enough to follow through. I am not naive, and I really do see the impossibility of everyone being perfectly abstinent and perfectly responsible, but I do not hesitate to share what I believe to be right. I have greater happiness because I alone belong to my husband and I really think that part of our marriage is priceless.
      I did not read through my response, so hopefully I express myself clearly, but if you have questions for me, please feel free to ask them! I know we may not share the same views but I enjoy having these discussions because it really does help me to become more open-minded.

  5. I respect your opinion, and agree that teenagers should not be having sex or children. In a perfect world, people would not have sex before marriage and would save that intimacy for that special bond. However, this isn't a perfect world, and people are inevitably going to have sex before marriage. The reason I support free birth control is to prevent abortion in the first place. If people do not have easy access to birth control, they are still going to choose have sex without it. I agree that this is a CHOICE. However, this teenager/woman, when pregnant and realizing she does not have the resources/desire to raise a child, is still going to have an abortion, whether or not we agree with that choice. Thus, I think that we should prevent the need for abortion in the first place by providing free birth control, because either way it is going to happen. It is choosing which is the lesser of the evils, which I think is abortion.

    While I consider myself pro-choice, I am definitely NOT pro-abortion. Personally, I could never have an abortion, although I have never been in the situation where I would have to make that decision. I am pro-a woman making her own decision for what happens to her body. I do not believe that various white males in the government should be able to tell a woman what she can or cannot do to her body. I think each woman should be able to make her decision without feeling shamed for that very choice. (I don't think there are many women that would happily go get an abortion). Many women are not fortunate enough to be strong in their faith as you are, thus cannot believe that God will take care of them no matter what happens. I think it's just important to realize that everyone's situation is different. I would much rather have free birth control, than have many babies and mothers dying from abortions.

    1. Thank you for replying! I am really glad that I got to hear your perspective. I agree with what you said about birth control being a better prevention method. It's too bad we've come to that, but I agree with you, that it is inevitable. In some ways, I guess my views align with being pro-choice because I definitely agree that a woman should be able to maintain her agency. I just think that choosing to do something that could result in pregnancy means the woman needs to be prepared to take responsibility. I don't think men or women should get a break when it comes to making such a serious choice. I know that my faith sets me apart from others, and though sometimes I wish I could have everyone believe the things I do, I am grateful that we have our agency and that people have diverse views. Thanks again for your comments!


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